PADI Worldwide Announces Launch of Freediver Program
RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif. – (2 September 2015)— As PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2016, the organization is expanding beyond scuba diving to offer training in freediving, a sport quickly gaining in popularity among water and adventure enthusiasts. While the program won’t officially launch until November 2015, PADI will preview a glimpse into the new PADI Freediver Touch tablet-based educational materials at Surf Expo in Orlando, Florida, USA, 10 – 12 September.
“Many PADI Instructors are avid freedivers and enjoy sharing their passion for breathhold diving with others,” says James Morgan, PADI Americas vice president of training and customer service. “As mainstream interest in the sport swells, freediving is a natural extension for dive education.”
Freediving is a likely cross-sport for surfing and other watersports, as well. The PADI Freediver program provides numerous benefits for surfers: improved breath-hold skills and safety, training to remain calm under extreme circumstances, and, of course, a reason to get in the ocean when it’s too windy or flat.
Like all PADI educational courses, the program was bred from first-hand experience as industry experts and competitive freedivers played a critical role in its development. This key advisory group, including Jay Huang of Taiwan, Myoungho Noh of South Korea, Liz Parkinson of the Bahamas and Alejandro Lemus of Mexico, worked closely with the PADI organization to establish a freediving training curriculum that addresses technique, form and safety for nearly any experience level.
The PADI Freediver tiered course structure has participants build upon their skill sets and knowledge as they advance from PADI Freediver to PADI Advanced Freediver and, ultimately, PADI Master Freediver. The program provides three corresponding instructor levels (Freediver Instructor, Advanced Freediver Instructor and Master Freediver Instructor), as well as a Freediver Instructor Trainer rating. There is also a subset program called Basic Freediver where students earn a certification in confined water.
PADI Freediver will feature quality, tablet-based training materials so students can access PADI Freediver Touch from the convenience of their tablets with or without an internet connection. As with other PADI Touch products, PADI has employed the latest training techniques and leveraged the latest technology to create a cutting-edge program. Adobe, who produces the Digital Publishing Suite software upon which PADI Touch products are built, recognized PADI for crafting a product that boasts the “entertainment factor of video with the rich content of a book for a truly immersive, effective training experience.”
PADI will introduce the program at Surf Expo from 10–12 September 2015. Attendees can learn more about the program, find out how they can incorporate it into their business model and explore a sneak peek of PADI Freediver Touch at the show. The program will be available in November 2015 and the PADI organization will be establishing an instructor program over the next few months. For more information regarding PADI Freediver, visit PADI at Booth #1052 at Surf Expo (surfexpo.com) or contact the PADI Americas Customer Service Department at 800 729 7234 (US and Canada) or +1 949 858 7234.
PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) is the world’s largest recreational diving training organization, with more than 136,000 trained PADI Professionals dedicated to introducing new divers to the thrill of scuba diving and enhancing the skills of experienced divers through its 6,200 dive centers and resorts worldwide. PADI Members issue nearly one million certifications worldwide each year, making underwater exploration and adventure accessible to the public while maintaining the highest industry standards for dive training, safety and customer service. For more information, visit www.PADI.com.